These 12 Drugstore Body Lotions Will Leave Your Skin Silky Smooth

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Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

Breaking news: If you’re not yet using a body lotion on the regular, you definitely should be. While it may seem like a skippable step in your routine (particularly on busy days), it’s imperative for keeping the skin below your chin healthy and hydrated. And yes, of course, lotion’s main purpose is to moisturize, but many of today’s iterations go above and beyond the call of duty, offering many other skincare benefits. Here’s the best part—you don’t have to shell out big bucks for an amazing body lotion because there’s a litany of ah-mazing options found at the drugstore. “Both drugstore and luxury moisturizers use humectants and emollients to moisturize and hydrate the skin. Luxury brands may have a higher price point due to their packaging expenses and marketing, but you can find similar science and ingredients in drugstore body moisturizers,” explains dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf.

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Rebecca Marcus is a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas, Texas, and the founder of Maei MD.
  • Dr. Jeannette Graf is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She’s also the Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Marie Hayag is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
  • Ife Rodney, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in Maryland. She is also the founding director of Eternal Dermatology.

Keep reading to find the best drugstore body lotions that we can't get enough of.

Best Overall

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Body Lotion

4.5
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Body Lotion

Amazon

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Fragrance-free

  • National Eczema Association Seal of Approval

What We Don't Like
  • Pump can sometimes get clogged

Who else recommends it? Allure, Rank & Style, and the NY Post all picked the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Body Lotion.

What do buyers say? 92% of 14,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Shea butter and glycerin are only two of the heavy-hitting hydrators in this formula, one of our daily go-to's. It works by replenishing essential lipids (aka fats) in the skin, yet despite how moisturizing it is, this lotion is shockingly lightweight and absorbs into the skin without any tacky or greasy residue. It smells naturally clean and fresh, but it's technically fragrance-free, so it's a good pick for those with sensitive skin. It’s a favorite of Dr. Rebecca Marcus, a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas, Texas, partially for that reason. “It contains prebiotics to help foster a healthy skin microbiome, which supports the integrity of the skin barrier and decreases inflammation. In addition to shea butter and glycerin, it also contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide (vitamin B3), making it great for those who are eczema-prone,” she says. “It’s safe for sensitive skin and even kids—I have young children, and it’s my go-to for them after bath.”

Active Ingredients: La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, shea butter, glycerin, niacinamide | Skin Type: Balanced to dry | Size: 13.52 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Multi-Tasker

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

5
Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Amazon

What We Like
  • Can use on face and body

  • Fragrance-free

  • Non-comedogenic

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't last long, must reapply often

Byrdie Editorial Director Hallie Gould loves this do-it-all drugstore standout. It touts three different ceramides, essential ingredients for maintaining a strong and healthy skin barrier (the secret to keeping natural moisture locked in and irritants out), and hydrating hyaluronic acid. Another great pick for sensitive skin, it’s oil- and fragrance-free, and it is also non-comedogenic, which is part of the reason why it is great for the body and face. It also works great as a hand cream.

Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Balanced to dry | Size: 8 fl. oz.,12 fl. oz., or 16 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Brightening

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Illuminating Body Lotion

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Illuminating Body Lotion

Ulta

What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Boosts radiance

  • Rich and thick texture

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer a thinner lotion

Reach for this lotion whenever skin is starting to look a little blah (e.g., in the dead of winter). No, it’s not packed with shimmer; instead, it relies on a mushroom extract to even out skin tone with continued use. Plus, the moisturizing shea butter and coconut oil base will instantly make skin appear more radiant. 

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, sweet hibiscus flower | Skin Type: Dull | Size: 13 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Firming

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great gradual self-tanner

  • Helps cover cellulite

  • Dermatologist-tested

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more moisturizing

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the hard truth of the matter is no magic cream will eliminate cellulite. That being said, topical lotions can help by creating the look of firmer, smoother skin. Enter this formula, which boasts collagen, elastin, and ginseng to do just that—not to mention it’s also a gradual self-tanner. Available in two shades, it delivers a subtle hint of color that gradually builds up with daily use. (And FYI, self-tanner is another one of the best ways to camo the look of cellulite.)

Active Ingredients: Collagen, elastin, and ginseng | Skin Type: Balanced | Size: 7.5 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Lightweight

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Lotion Gel Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Lotion Gel Cream

Amazon

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Fragrance-free

  • Cooling sensation

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more moisturizing

It can admittedly be easier to want to moisturize during the dead of winter—much less so in the middle of summer when you constantly feel sweaty and sticky. That’s where this pick comes up huge. Because it’s a water-based gel, it absorbs lightning-fast and feels innately cooling going on, even more so if you follow our lead and stash it in the fridge. However, because it’s packed with hyaluronic acid, it still imparts plenty of much-needed hydration even though it disappears on contact. 

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Balanced to dry | Size: 16 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Lightweight, Runner-Up

Nivea Fresh Fusion Body Lotion

Nivea Breathable Fresh Fusion Body Lotion

Amazon

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Smells good

What We Don’t Like
  • Does contain fragrance

Hate having to wait to get dressed after you put on lotion because your skin feels, well, lotion-y? This formula touts a unique technology that uses microgels in place of the emulsifiers traditionally found in most lotions. That means that it not only absorbs super fast, it feels entirely undetectable on the skin as soon as you apply it and throughout the day. So much so that you could even slather it on and then put on leggings right after, truly. But because it contains deeply moisturizing ingredients, such as shea butter and vitamin E, it still imparts plenty of hydration.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, vitamin C, vitamin E | Skin Type: Balanced to dry | Size: 13.5 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

4.4
Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Ulta

What We Like
  • Multi-tasking formula

  • Fragrance-free

  • Great value

What We Don't Like
  • Can be greasy

When it’s not just run-of-the-mill dryness you’re dealing with but serious cracked, chapped skin—think on your elbows or heels—a regular ol’ lotion won’t cut it. You need to bust out the big guns in the form of a thick balm or ointment, like this classic. The petrolatum-based formula creates a protective seal on the skin, ideal for helping heal the driest of dry spots.

Active Ingredients: Petrolatum | Skin Type: Dry, cracked, irritated | Size: 3 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Fragrance-Free

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Multi-tasking formula

  • Fragrance-free

  • Non-comedogenic

What We Don’t Like
  • Unhygienic container

No matter whether you have sensitive skin and/or are sensitive to fragrance, this is a great option to choose and a choice pick for Marcus. “It contains glycerin, an excellent hydrator, and petrolatum, which is an effective emollient. It does a great job of hydrating, keeping moisture locked in, and repairing and supporting the skin barrier,” she says. Plus, since it’s non-comedogenic you don’t have to worry about it clogging pores, meaning you can even use it on the face if you need a hefty dose of hydration, she says.

Active Ingredients: Glycerin, vitamin B5, niacinamide, vitamin E | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive | Size: 16 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Scent

Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter

Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter

Ulta

What We Like
  • Smells good

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don’t Like
  • Pricey for a drugstore option

On the flip side, if you’re not sensitive to fragrance and want a body lotion that’s going to smell delightful, this is the way to go. “I have been using this product pretty much forever and it’s one of my all-time favorites,” says Marcus. “It features super emollients, shea butter, and coconut oil, as well as the excellent humectant sodium hyaluronate, small hyaluronic acid molecules that pull moisture deep into the skin. It smells great, is effective, and a total pleasure to use,” she adds.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil | Skin Type: All | Size: 6.7 oz. or 32 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Eczema

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm

4.7
Aveeno Eczema Therapy Nighttime Itch Relief Balm

Walmart

What We Like
  • National Eczema Association Seal of Approval

  • Good value

What We Don’t Like
  • Can be greasy

For those dealing with pesky (and uncomfortable) eczema flares, this option is a solid choice. Graf is a fan, noting that it’s a great, non-prescription alternative for those with eczema. “It’s made with colloidal oatmeal and ceramides to help soothe, comfort, and moisturize skin when eczema symptoms flare up, leaving it feeling soft and smooth for six hours,” she says. The formula is so legit that it even boasts the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide | Skin Type: Eczema-prone | Size: 11 oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Extra Dry Skin

Dove Body Love Intense Care Body Lotion

Dove Body Love Intense Care Body Lotion

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use pump bottle

  • Fresh scent

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don’t Like
  • Does contain fragrance

Even the driest of patches don’t stand a chance against this mega-moisturizer. It’s truly the richest lotion we’ve tried without getting into cream/body butter territory; credit the addition of ingredients such as sunflower oil and petrolatum. Still, it never gets greasy, sticky, or heavy, and the fresh, clean scent is the icing on the cake.

Active Ingredients: Restoring Ceramide Serum, sunflower oil, petrolatum | Skin Type: Balanced, dry | Size: 13.5 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best In-Shower

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Amazon

What We Like
  • National Eczema Association Seal of Approval

  • Great if you don’t like applying lotion

  • Fragrance-free

What We Don’t Like
  • Could be more moisturizing

One easy way to make moisturizing a daily habit? Opt for this guy, which you can use while you’re still in the shower. How it works: Post-washing, apply this lotion all over, then rinse off and towel-dry as normal. Yes, rinse off. The water-activated formula is meant to be used on wet skin and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth without a trace of residue. Even after you towel off, the ceramide-infused formula helps to moisturize and bolster your skin barrier, helping to ward off future dryness.

Active Ingredients: Ceramide Complex | Skin Type: Dry | Size: 12 fl. oz. | SPF: None | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

The drugstore is home to a treasure trove of body lotions that are just as great as their pricier counterparts. The La-Roche Posay Lipikar Daily Repair Moisturizing Body Lotion easily nabs the top spot in our book (and is a dermatologist favorite, too). It’s packed with moisturizing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, a great pick for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin or eczema. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, consider the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Lotion Gel Cream or Nivea Breathable Fresh Fusion Body Lotion, both of which absorb lightning fast with no greasy or sticky residue while still being super hydrating. And the Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer is the way to go if you hate and/or always forget to apply lotion since it’s a water-activated formula that you can apply right in the shower, then towel dry as usual.

What to Look For in a Body Lotion

Nourishing Ingredients

If the ingredient list on your body lotion boasts elements like butters, ceramides, peptides, or hydrating oils, trust that it will put in the work to give your skin some serious moisture. Some great nourishing ingredients to look out for include jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and glycerin.

Humectants

According to dermatologist Ife Rodney, MD, humectants are a key component of any body lotion. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin help to draw moisture from the air into your skin, sealing it in without a heavy, weighty texture.

Gentle Exfoliants

Rodney notes that gentle chemical exfoliants, like alpha-hydroxy acids and urea, are another great addition to a body lotion, particularly for those with very dry skin.

FAQ
  • What's the difference between a body lotion and a body cream?

    According to Rodney, creams are a thicker consistency and have a higher concentration of hydrating ingredients. Lotions, on the other hand, have higher amounts of water and lighter consistency.

  • How often should I use body lotion?

    You can feel free to use your body lotion as often as every day, ideally when you're just out of the shower to help your skin retain moisture. Simply use a towel to dab off excess water, and while your skin is still slightly damp, spread a layer of body lotion over the top.

  • Should my body lotion contain SPF?

    Using a lotion with SPF offers the one-two punch of hydrating your skin and protecting it from harmful UVA/UVB rays. Dermatologist Dr. Marie Hayag told us it's important to find a broad-spectrum lotion with as high an SPF as you can find and to apply it liberally: “a shot glass amount is ideal for your body, and it should be applied every two hours, especially if you’re outdoors.”

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She prefers drugstore body lotions to pricier ones, largely because she goes through them so quickly. You’ll always find the La Roche-Posay product featured on this list in her bathroom, although she rotates in many other of the options mentioned as well.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. 27 best body lotions that your skin will love just as much as we do. Allure. https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-body-lotion-for-moisturizing-dry-skin

  2. The affordable body lotions known for drastically improving dry winter skin. Rank & Style. https://www.rankandstyle.com/top-10-list/best-drugstore-body-lotions

  3. 21 best body lotions for the softest skin in 2022, per dermatologists. New York Post. https://nypost.com/article/best-body-lotions-all-skin-types-per-dermatologists

  4. Nisbet SJ. Skin acceptability of a cosmetic moisturizer formulation in female subjects with sensitive skin. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:213-217.

  5. Fulton JE, Bradley S, Aqundez A, Black T. Non-comedogenic cosmetics. Cutis. 1976;17(2):344-345, 349-351.

  6. Czarnowicki T, Malajian D, Khattri S, et al. Petrolatum: Barrier repair and antimicrobial responses underlying this “inert” moisturizer. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016;137(4):1091-1102.e7.

  7. Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:491-497.

  8. Lin T-K, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70.

  9. Fluhr JW, Darlenski R, Surber C. Glycerol and the skin: holistic approach to its origin and functionsBr J Dermatol. 2008;159(1):23-34.

  10. Draelos ZD. The science behind skin care: MoisturizersJ Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;17(2):138-144. doi:10.1111/jocd.12490

  11. Loretz LJ, Api AM, Barraj LM, et al. Exposure data for cosmetic products: lipstick, body lotion, and face creamFood Chem Toxicol. 2005;43(2):279-291.

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